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South Carolina to Fix I-95 Bottleneck at Georgia Border with $360 Million Project

Southern highway construction project.

South Carolina Embarks on $360 Million Project to Fix I-95 Bottleneck at Georgia Border

Driving on the Infamous Stretch

For drivers frequently navigating the Savannah River stretch from Georgia into South Carolina on Interstate 95, the recurring traffic snarls have amounted to a dreaded experience. Many travellers have opted to bypass the stretch altogether, owing to the persistent bottlenecks and serious accidents. The issue escalates as vehicles crossing over to the state border are sharply cut from three lanes down to a solitary two as they near the bridge. This situation persists in both directions into the Palmetto State.

“It’s no different than sand going through an hourglass,” remarks one distressed commuter, reflecting the growing discontent among drivers.

New Expansion Project Promises Relief

Relief is in the pipeline, thanks to a bold initiative by the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The department plans to invest a substantial $360 million into a project aimed at widening a 10-mile stretch of I-95, starting from just inside the Georgia state line stretching upto U.S. 278 interchange in Hardeeville. This ambitious project, commencing next year and slated for completion in 2032, envisions a new six-lane bridge across the river.

Improving Freight Transportation

State data reveals that approximately 64,000 vehicles navigate this section of the highway daily, far exceeding its initial designed capacity. The poor condition of this stretch has led to it being hailed as one of the worst rural interstates for transporting freight, as per a 2021 SCDOT report. Poor maintenance and abundance of potholes have left many drivers frustrated.

Impact on Local Economy

The initiative has been well-received by stakeholders including the Georgia Ports Authority – which operates the Savannah and Brunswick ports, bolstering local economy. Besides bettering the efficiency and safety of transportation, the widening of the interstate will undeniably alleviate congestion and help traffic flow smoothly.

Construction Schedule and Road Management

The construction work will foreseeably require round-the-clock effort at times, but SCDOT has assured that at least two lanes of traffic will be kept operational in both directions during daylight hours to minimize inconvenience for drivers.

Contrasting Approaches of Georgia and South Carolina

Observers have pointed to a noticeable difference in the strategies adopted by Georgia and South Carolina in tackling the road congestion issue. While Georgia has been appreciated for its responsiveness and forward planning, South Carolina is yet to match its counterpart’s pace. The upcoming project holds the potential to transform the perception of South Carolina’s road management and to significantly improve the driving experience along the Interstate 95.

South Carolina to Fix I-95 Bottleneck at Georgia Border with $360 Million Project Spartanburg SC

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